To Office Or Not To Office?
A look at why it may be time to come back.
NOTE: “Makeversations” is now “Adblong.” Same newsletter, different name and visual identity (thank you, Midjourney!). More cool goodies in store. Thanks for reading!
It was a lifetime ago when the pandemic smacked the globe across its face. Companies around the country raced to the press with bold announcements about their employees being able to work from anywhere. ‘Twas a beautiful time. Diverse employees from all-over got opportunities to work at dream companies without needing to move to New York City and figure out creative new ways to enjoy a ramen diet on a nightly basis.
But just three years later, the lake that was “remote work” has dried up. Companies are literally demanding that remote applicants report to offices up to a hundred miles away or quit. Business leaders with extremely teethy smiles on LinkedIn are typing paragraphs about why remote work sucks. Elon Musk made it a mission to let the world know that he thinks people that work from home aren’t actually working.
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Even though the vast majority of employees prefer to work remotely, it looks like the days of it being the norm are coming to a close. Yeah, it’s cool to build “culture” together in an office. It’s also just as cool to not have a ridiculously long commute to get to a building and be able to focus on other things that matter in life like, you know, saving money and spending time with family.
But, in the end, I side with the people that believe we should go back into the office. The perks of being in an office are just too good to pass up. Here are a few:
Getting very familiar with your coworkers’ smells
Waltzing around the office gives you the ability to learn about your coworkers and their unique fragrances. Some people may prefer fancy colognes and perfumes while others may opt for department store spray-ons that burn the inside of your nostrils. Then, there are the select few who go for a natural musk. The stench helps them to stay awake, and is achieved by running laps around a neighborhood while letting the sweat drench their clothes. Get to know each of your coworkers’ smells and build a smell-inclusive office space together.
Being able to practice synchronized breathing in the office
The pandemic made the world forget about the benefits of breathing the same air as your coworkers. Being in an office isn’t just good for festering personal connections and making your workplace into your social life — it’s also a great way to connect your respiratory system to the people around you and set great breathing habits. This process is called synchronized breathing and can be accomplished by sitting in close proximity to each other and gulping in the air that seeps into each other’s mouths. Synchronized breathing leads to greater creativity, productivity, and halitosis in the workplace.
Turning traffic jams into yoga sessions
When you have to drive miles to get to your place of work, there’s always the risk of being caught in an hour-long traffic jam. When you work in some of the country’s largest cities (which, let’s face it — most agencies are located in), that risk is multiplied tenfold. You lose a lot of time that could be devoted to hanging out with family and working on personal projects to, instead, bask in symphonies of beeping horns.
To take advantage of this necessary part of the journey to work, you should engage in Commuter Yoga. Practice stretches that help your body be at ease while bumper to bumper. Stick the foot that’s on the gas pedal out of the window. Do a handstand through your sunroof. By the time you make it to the office halfway through the day, you’ll be ready to take on any challenge that comes your way.
Talking awkwardly at water coolers during lunch
Every workplace kitchen has a water cooler that becomes the center of awkward conversation while a microwavable meatloaf burns to a crisp nearby. Instead of eating lunch at a sandwich shop and chatting organically with nearby patrons, it’s imperative that you perfect chatting with coworkers while holding a paper cup in your hands.
The best way to have these talks is to tape conversation cards on the water cooler. Ask about intelligent and conversational topics that showcase your creativity, such as what the weather outside is like today. You can also ask about airplane food. These conversational goldmines open up endless possibilities for enriching discussion. Doing this daily with different employees will make you the most popular person in your office.
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